Leading researcher visits TÜV SÜD Scientific Advisory Board
At the invitation of the TÜV SÜD Scientific Advisory Board for Medical Devices, Munich heart surgeon Professor Dr. Dr. Bruno Reichart visited the company on July 9, 2014 to speak on innovations in transplant medicine. An honorary citizen of the City of Munich, Professor Reichart is among Germany’s leading researchers in the field of xenotransplantation. His speech addressed the importance of xenogeneic procedures as alternatives to conventional treatments.
Importance of xenogeneic procedures
Professor Reichart began by highlighting the conspicuous lack of donor cells and organs throughout Europe, and in Germany in particular. He went on to describe the medical treatments currently available and explained the significance of transplants as the last chance of survival for patients with terminal and irreversible organ disease. Against the backdrop of declining donor numbers, Professor Reichart examined discordant xenogeneic procedures as potential alternative options.
Developments in the field of xenogeneic treatments
Professor Reichart has been the Chairman of the Transregio 127 Collaborative Research Center of the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2012. Transregio 127, entitled “Biology of xenogeneic cell and organ transplantation – from bench to bedside”, is a research group made up of basic researchers, animal biotechnologists, virologists and clinicians. Professor Reichart’s talk outlined the expertise of the Center’s members in the field of xenotransplantation. Their primary objective is to gather clinical experience of genetically modified porcine islet cells and decellularized heart valves (from a-Gal- and Hanganutziu-Deicher-antigen knock-out animals), kidneys and hearts. Reichart’s team was the first to successfully use xenogeneic clinical applications for patients with type 1 diabetes. Major progress has also been made with heart valves of genetically modified tissue. Reichart anticipates the advent of xenogeneic heart transplants as soon as long-term preclinical results are available.
TÜV SÜD Scientific Advisory Board
TÜV SÜD’s 400-plus international specialists in the field of Medical Devices are supported by an in-house Department of Clinical Affairs and a Scientific Advisory Board comprising prestigious European scientists and physicians from leading universities and healthcare centers. The Board meets at least twice annually to inform the responsible management team about new developments in the medical sector and to provide TÜV SÜD’s specialists with scientific advice.